1993 Bothell murder suspect sent to psychiatric hospital, charges dismissed

EVERETT, Wash. — A man charged in the abduction and killing of Bothell teenager Melissa Lee in the 90s has been indefinitely committed to the state psychiatric hospital by a Snohomish County judge.

>>RELATED: Snohomish County detectives make arrest in 1993 murder of 15-year-old girl

The Daily Herald reports first-degree murder charges against Alan Edward Dean were dismissed this week under the civil order but can be filed again if a judge finds him competent to stand trial.

In the meantime, the former Boeing mechanic will be held at Western State Hospital.

Dean was arrested in July 2020 after prosecutors say DNA he discarded on a cigarette matched DNA found at the crime scene.

Background information on the case:

On April 13, 1993, deputies said Lee was home alone at her house in Bothell and was planning to have a friend come over to stay the night.

Deputies said Lee spoke with her mother on their landline home phone around 9:30 p.m.

When Lee’s mother arrived home after midnight, Lee was not home. Deputies said the front door of the house was open and there were signs of a struggle inside.

Lee’s mother reported her missing to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office on April 14. On the night of the 14th, Lee’s body was found in a ravine on the north side of the Edgewater Creek Bridge in the 3800 block of Mukilteo Boulevard, located in Everett.

An autopsy determined her death was attributed to asphyxia due to manual strangulation and was classified as a homicide.

A toxicology report found no drugs or alcohol in Lee’s system, but it did detect ethyl ether and heptane.

Detectives interviewed Dean three times in 1993 after finding notes in Melissa Lee’s address book with a phone number for someone named “Michael”.

The man was identified as Alan E. Dean and he told detectives he used the name “Mike” when he met Lee through a night talk line and dated her twice in March 1993.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.